Florida testing laboratory fully accredited by RMTC

Posted: Oct. 24, 2018

The University of Florida Racing Laboratory has received full accreditation from the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, officials said Oct. 23.

The RMTC Horseracing Testing Laboratory Committee took the action the week of Oct. 22 as part of its Laboratory Accreditation Program. The lab, which conducts testing for the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, is the 10th to be accredited by the RMTC since 2013.

The RMTC said its accredited labs test samples for 32 pari-mutuel jurisdictions in the United States, and only three racing regulatory agencies in the country use non-RMTC-accredited labs: the Louisiana State Racing Commission, Delaware Harness Racing Commission and South Dakota Commission on Gaming. Louisiana is the only state that doesn’t have a RMTC-accredited lab for Thoroughbred racing.

“The standards for expertise and proficiency that only the RMTC Laboratory Accreditation Program provide are critical in creating a safe and level playing field for racing participants,” said RMTC Chair Alex Waldrop, President of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. “UFRL’s accreditation brings us very close to the day when every horse racing lab in the U.S. is fully compliant with demanding testing standards and participating in an exhaustive quality assurance program.”

Each laboratory receiving RMTC Accreditation has first been ISO 17025-certified, which is the international standard for analytical laboratories. Additionally, they must receive approval for their application from an independent auditor; satisfy a multi-day laboratory site inspection with an internationally-recognized expert; and pass two rounds of the rigorous RMTC External Quality Assurance Program.

Accredited laboratories are required to participate in EQAP testing—including double-blind testing—each year following their accreditation.

UFRL Associated Director Margaret Wilding said the EQAP “requires a high standard of expertise for each laboratory to achieve. Our staff worked hard to satisfy all the requirements of accreditation and reach this accomplishment. We look forward to continuing to provide an excellent testing program for the State of Florida.”

RMTC Executive Director Dr. Dionne Benson said the progress in Florida is a result of support and assistance from The Stronach Group, which owns Gulfstream Park; Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association; Florida Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association; Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering; and the lab itself.